The very common association that we have with marketing audits is one that is largely linked to tax collection and to these very scary persona that these people in suits seem to don, in order to find loopholes in our spending and consumption strategy and this although daunting, has become a necessary part of our business.
However, to be completely in charge of our business and be in control, it is important to conduct marketing audits from time to time, internally within the organisation, to know the result of our investments. There are several organisations that suffer immensely due to not doing this regularly and many organisations, as a result of this, are also not aware of the return on their investments.
There are different kinds of audits that one can do and it is important to consider these integral to the smooth functioning of your business.
Doing an SEO Audit
There are several businesses that conduct deep keyword searches only once and not more than that- this can be considered foolish, as google is constantly changing its algorithms and anyone who is connected with consumer behaviour will say the same about that as well. Using the same list of keywords that might have worked for you initially, might not be working for you now. Companies should by a rule of thumb, conduct audits regularly for keyword optimisation to ensure that their adopted strategies are working and aligned to the current search trends.
One place to start doing this would be to look at the content marketing return on investment to understand how well-placed your content is and how these targeted keywords are actually performing. According to a few reports, there are very few organisations that actually focus on the search rankings and focus more on traffic, conversions and consumer engagement. Although these are important things to focus on, there is a lot of consumer drive and engagement that one can also build through the search rankings.
This is again one thing that people miss out on, from time to time. This is because the initial investment in a website is not enough to ensure that the website is going to run smoothly for the rest of the time. There are several components in a website that are all playing a role in ensuring that the customers that you have keep coming back and at the same time, are churning out new customers. This is particularly true if you are someone who makes a lot of changes to their website, for example- you might be adding regular blogs or adding new products/product features, if so, doing a proper website audit is an absolute must. Conducting a website audit will ensure that you are in the know of everything that could be hurting the consumers. For example- you could be having an issue of broken links and slow page loading speed, these are all things that could potentially harm the consumer’s overall experience.
One of the crucial aspects of your business is to do a brand audit. Now, the reason why this is perhaps one of the most important functions of your business, is because, this is the part that shows you who you really are. This is the aspect of your business, the face of your business that customers are constantly engaging with and it is with this audit, that one can create the necessary action required in order to build a positive perception of your brand. There are some steps that one can follow in order to do a brand audit and some of these are:
Conducting a consumer survey:
Knowing your target market is literally the first alphabet taught in the marketing guides. There is absolutely nothing more valuable than that. Knowing your target market to do an audit would also help make your survey more directed and not include people who do not fall into that category. When you are conducting a survey, it is important to consider that you cannot conduct a survey for a small sample group. Keeping the sample group large would give you a chance to get more directed and more diverse results.
Auditing your Social Media platforms
Creating a social media presence is not enough. It is important to know how your audience is engaging with you on social media platforms. This is also going to give you an insight into how well your brand is performing with respect to changing consumer behaviour, a consumer’s likes and preferences and in addition to that, insights about the demographic and the gender distribution of your consumer base. When you are conducting a social media audit, there are several social media marketing tools that are available out there, that could tell you exactly how to conduct the audit and the desirable results.
A lot of organisation with large resources prefer to outsource this kind of work. However, if you are smart and an organisation with limited resources, there are several tools out there that could give you access to the kind of work that you are looking for. When you are doing a competition audit, there is one thing that you should definitely look out for and that is: the competition’s competitive advantage. This means that it is always necessary to know how your competitor is behaving to changing consumer preferences, what kind of messaging for their brand are they sending out, what is their content strategy and so on.
There are a lot of tools out there, that give you access to the competitors use of SEO and analysing them for organic keywords. Use these tools to understand how your competitor is using keywords to target their response and how you can maximise your website and your strategies, based on what is working for them.
Human resource Audit
Perhaps one of the most over-used term in all how-to-make-your-business-a-success models and this is essentially to do with knowing how your organisation is doing overall. Since your organisation is built on the backbone of human resource, it is important to keep doing a check-in to see how they are doing. Doing an audit of their performance can also give rise to areas where you might need to focus on more and the areas which might need more serious engagement.
Since a lot of organisations are adopting technology at an extremely large scale, it could be beneficial to understand how well your organisation is responding to these changes. Marketing teams, specifically, should look at how they can use certain technology like Artificial Intelligence, to improve their productivity, when it comes to customer relations, by creating automated systems in place and ensuring that all redundant tasks can be delegated to technology along with strategies that have come from a compilation of data.
A compliance Audit
This can become crucial in many circumstances. There have been many cases in the United States, where people have sued organisations for not complying with certain standards for accessibility. This is something that your website design team and your marketing team should be sitting on, together to ensure that you are meeting the required standards. Although business websites are not legally required to provide any kind of accessibility features, there have been cases where people have been through legal action for creating websites and applications that were not accessible to the disabled. In order to avoid such an instance, it is advisable to keep yourself ahead of these compliance requirements.
In conclusion, there are several benefits to constantly auditing your organization to ensure maximum compliance, maximum efficiency on all fronts and team motivation and morale. An organisation that takes a keen interest in these regular audits, will be in a position to make decisive changes as and when required and will know how to adapt to new developments in every space. Brand audit is perhaps one of the most important things that one can think of, as brand perception and brand health comes before anything else. It is important that ensuring good brand health is one of the key goals of the organisation, something that each individual is contributing to, as that is one of the key indicators of a healthy business.
In addition to this, it is also crucial to understand that the same strategies that worked the last year will not work again, this year. You need to be in a position where you are constantly assessing your marketing efforts and ensure that the decisions that you will be making for addressing website issues and accessibility features is not something that is hindering your progress and your company’s success. Conducting these types of regular audits will ensure that you stay on top of your marketing and return on investment budget and can, in turn, help stream-line any marketing strategy that you might be adopting in the long-term.